Are you a renter? If so, you may be labouring under the misapprehension that you can’t enjoy a fully functional smart home of your own. While it’s true that there may be some minor limitations, the fact is that renters too can have all the convenience of a modern smart home. That’s right, smart homes are for everyone! If you’d like to learn a little bit about how this can be, just keep on reading.

 

Smart Homes are for Everyone

While there may be some limitations to renting in terms of what one is permitted to hardwire into their home’s electrical system, for the most part, renters can have smart homes too.

This is not only because many smart devices simply don’t need hardwiring in, but also because many smart home products require little to no effort to set up and install.

Consider, for instance, the broad category of Smart Speakers and Smart Voice Assistants. Most of these devices require little more than plugging into a standard wall outlet and installing and configuring their app on your smart phone. In most cases these steps take just a few minutes to complete and require no special knowledge or previous smart home experience—it’s all very intuitive, and often the device itself walks you fully through the process.

What’s more, whether you choose something from the Amazon Echo family of smart home devices or something from the Google Home range (shown above is the Google Home Mini), either way you can use your smart voice assistant to control most (if not all) of your other smart home devices. For instance, if you have smart lighting, you can turn your lights on and off with simple voice control.

 

Here’s an example of what you can do with the new, square shaped Nanoleaf Canvas Smarter Kit (panel lights)

And what if you do want Smart Lights? If you choose to employ something like Philips Hue lighting in and around your home, do you need to make any special provisions? Not really! The same is true if you choose to instal Nanoleaf (shown above), LIFX, or any number of other smart lighting brands.

While some light fixtures may need to be hardwired in (always check before you purchase), there are many different bulbs and other lighting options (such as lamps, string lights, and Nanoleaf Canvas Panel Lights) that simply need to be screwed into a standard light socket or plugged into a wall outlet.

The only other thing that you might need to pick up is the Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 (shown boxed above), which is necessary to make your lights work if you choose Philips Hue as your brand. Of course, this too is a simple plug-in device that requires no special expertise to set up and use.

 

Another category of smart home devices that anyone, renters included, can easily employ in their homes is that of Smart Plugs.

Smart plugs allow you to plug virtually any other (non smart) electronic device into them, giving you remote, smart phone control over those devices from wherever you happen to be in the world (so long as you have Wi-Fi access).

What this means is that you can log into the product app of your particular brand of smart plug and use it to power the plugs on and off at will.

Thus, if you’ve got your coffee maker all set up and ready to brew as soon as it receives power, you can jump onto your smart phone and start it running on your way home from work just by using the app to power your smart plug on.

Shown is a smart plug in use making the aforementioned morning coffee on someone’s kitchen countertop

Of course, this is just one possible example of how you can make the most of smart plugs in your rental home. You might also use one to turn a lamp on or off without getting out of bed, to start your stereo up without getting off the couch, or to turn off that space heater that you accidentally left on when you ran out of the house in a big hurry this morning.

Some popular examples of smart plug brands include WeMo and TP Link, though there are many other brands to consider as well. Possibly the best part of all with smart plugs, though, is that they’re a very inexpensive smart home product option that are also easy to use, super convenient, and have the potential to contribute to significant energy savings simply by allowing you to better control when your electrical appliances and devices are and are not consuming power.

The Nest Protect, pictured here, comes in both hardwired and battery powered options

Aside from the smart home products already mentioned above, a wide selection of other (renter ready) smart home products is also available. These include (but are not limited to) Smart Security Cameras, various Sleep Tech products (such as fans and white noise machines), Safety Sensors and Detectors (like the battery powered Nest Protect Wi-Fi Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm shown above), and Smart Blinds from Hunter Douglas, just to name a few.

If you happen to be the type that enjoys interior decorating and design, you can even have a blast setting your place up with some Smart Furniture & Décor. My favourite is the Meural V2 27″ Digital Canvas (picture) Frame (shown below), though the Sobro Smart Coffee Table with Refrigerated Drawer certainly isn’t too far behind.

Further, depending on your particular rental situation, you may even be able to install Smart Locks and Door Bells, Smart Security Alarms, Smart Thermostats, and Smart Garage equipment (like smart garage door openers and overhead lighting).

 

By now it should be clear that any home can be smart, and even renters can enjoy all the convenience and benefits of a multitude of different smart home devices. If you’re now ready to take the plunge and join the smart home revolution, you’ll find everything you need online at Best Buy Canada.